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Displaying posts with tag: ticker:ntap (reset)
Managing a Bestseller

There are a couple of bookstores in my neighborhood. They could not be more different from one another.

The first is known to focus on best seller lists, to promote popular books, and use displays and traditional retail techniques to drive business. They seem to do well, year in, year out. The other bookstore is more of a community treasure, beloved by the neighborhood, with a focus on the (thoughtful) insights of their staff. Those insights are delivered via small note cards appended to shelving throughout the store, where books are displayed alphabetically, with library-like neutrality.

The first store is very market focused, changes with the season, and seems to be quite succesful. The latter store, beloved though it may be, struggles to stay in business.

Now you might consider that an awkward …

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You Have to Stop to Change Direction

The bursting of the internet bubble was good for the computer industry.

Many of us didn't like the medicine, but I can't remember a single customer upset at the idea of paying $20,000 for computing infrastructure that used to cost them $100,000. The price compression came from open source software, and a move toward general purpose servers, and resulted in companies formerly making 65% gross profit on products (Sun among them) facing a new reality.

But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Since then, Sun's built the biggest open source software business around (see this report for details), from platform software to application infrastructure (even a …

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Innovation Loves a Crisis

I thought I'd share a note I sent earlier in the week to Sun's leaders - about the turmoil we're seeing in the markets, and how I want our team focusing their efforts.


Begin forwarded message:
From: Jonathan Schwartz
Date: September 30, 2008 12:02:29 AM PDT
To: All Sun
Subject: Headlines, Financial Crisis, etc.

You can't have missed today's headlines - the American Congress failed to pass a critical bill authorizing the Treasury to put a floor under the US banking sector. The market swooned, and politicians in the US, and across the world, are bickering over the right long term answer - jump in and take action to save the troubled institutions, or step aside and …

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Anything But a Flash in the Pan

There are only two kinds of storage devices - those that have failed, and those that are about to fail. That's the view most datacenters have about the traditionally mechanical devices pejoratively referred to as "spinning rust." All disk drives fail, cheap drives fail faster.

If the average time to fail is five years, you and your laptop can make do with the occasional backup. But when an average enterprise has 100, or 1,000, or increasingly 10,000 or 100,000 individual disk drives, failure is a daily, if not hourly occurrence. Mechanical devices fail.

And with failure comes the potential for losing data - using commodity disks to save your boss $500,000 does her no good if she's fined $50,000,000 for violating data retention regulations. Stock transactions, medical images or feature length movies - take your pick, some data has to be perfect. Not a decimal point or pixel out of place.

That's exactly why, years …

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ZFS Puts Net App Viability at Risk?

About a month ago, Network Appliance sued Sun to try to stop the competitive impact of ZFS on their business.

I can understand why they're upset - when Linux first came on the scene in Sun's core market, there were some here who responded the same way, asking "who can we sue?" But seeing the future, we didn't file an injunction to stop competition - instead, we joined the free software community and innovated.

One of the ways we innovated was to create a magical file system called ZFS - which enables expensive, proprietary storage to be replaced with commodity disks and general purpose servers. Customers save a ton of money - and administrators save a ton of time. The economic impact is staggering - and understandably threatening to Net App and other proprietary companies. As is all free innovation, at some level. …

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Showing entries 1 to 5